Lowell B. Anthony, MD, FACP, chief, Division of Medical Oncology, University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, discusses preliminary research with spartalizumab (PDR001) in neuroendocrine tumors (NETs).
An ongoing area of research in this space is immunotherapy. In a phase II study (NCT02955069) presented at the 2018 ESMO Congress, the safety and efficacy of spartalizumab was examined in patients with advanced NETs. Data indicated a benefit for those with thoracic NETs, says Anthony.
Spartalizumab is a PD-L1/2 inhibitor and a monoclonal antibody. The agent has been tested in prospective randomized trials in not only 3 primary sites, but also in nondifferentiated NETs, says Anthony. From the phase II trial that was done, investigators now know that responses were more pronounced in these thoracic primaries. Historically, another trial with pembrolizumab (Keytruda) showed response rates around 6% to 12%. However, it is not entirely clear whether this will translate to practice as these are early signals, concludes Anthony.